EVERETT — In perhaps the biggest game of the first half of the season in the WHL’s Western Conference, the Everett Silvertips fell 3-2 to the Kamloops Blazers on Saturday night at Angel of the Winds Arena.
Everett and Kamloops came into the game as the runaway leaders in the conference, and the Tips hadn’t lost a game in regulation all season long. But goals from Logan Stankoven and Nick McCarry, with an empty netter added by Quinn Schmiemann, gave Kamloops (17-2-0-0) the victory. Dylan Garand made 41 saves in goal for the Blazers.
Alex Swetlikoff scored and Ryan Hofer added a consolation goal in the dying seconds for Everett (16-1-1-1), which saw its franchise record for consecutive games earning at least a point end at 18. Koen MacInnes made 26 saves in net for the Tips.
Kamloops struck first on the power play at 15 minutes 35 seconds of the first period. A loose puck squirted free to Stankoven open in the slot, and Stankoven sniped the top corner to give the Blazers a 1-0 lead. Everett controlled the remainder of the period, finishing with a 16-6 shot advantage, but it remained 1-0 heading into the second.
Kamloops doubled its lead 1:35 into the second period when a bad Everett giveaway in the offensive zone led to a Blazers two-on-one, and McCarry beat MacInness with his shot to make it 2-0. The Tips continued to grind away and got on the board at 16:10 as Swetlikoff got around his defender and snuck a shot into the far corner to cut the deficit to one.
Everett nearly tied it midway through the third period, but Hofer’s jam attempt at the post was waived off, and after a video review the call was upheld. Schmiemann scored from his own zone into an empty net with 41.0 seconds remaining, rendering Hofer’s rebound goal with 12.1 seconds remaining moot.
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